Once again we ended up recording after work as a concession to both of our insane schedules. This did allow me to see the rather nice selection at the convenient to work Barmy's. We settled on two big bottles to share, both beers new to us which was especially important to John who was three beers away from an average of one unique beer a day for the past year, since he started using Untappd.
The first beer we opened was the first new Dogfish Head for either of us in a while, the very cola-like Urkontinent. Reading through the notes on this beer at the brewery site, we guessed correctly that the spices come each from different continents. Further it was a collaboration between folks at the brewery and tech loving fans as a celebration of entrepreneurs around the world. John though the base style was a new one, a Cascadian dark ale, one of our recent favorites. According to the site, it is actually a dark, Belgium dubbel. The notes you'd expect from that type of beer are almost entirely missing.
Despite the 8% ABV, the beer was not terribly boozy. The cola impression lasted from first pour through the taste, no doubt aided by the cola colored head and the residual sweetness of the honey. The herbal complexity was a little harder to pin down but pleasantly so.
John was disappointed to note this beer is in a new style of bottle, an embossed one that is off putting to home brewers wanting to re-use the glass. John favored them especially which lends to an equitable split when we divvy up our empties I tend to prefer the 22 oz bombers, the more traditional long neck like shaped bottles. The shape of the bottle also seemed a little last graceful than the old, unmarked glass.
Something roasty did emerge as the beer warmed but I didn't think it was all from the malt. I suggested it might be the combination of herbs. Regardless, it put me in mind of the Palo Santo Marron. John agreed, noting that the Palo Santo seems to be getting more mellow with each successive batch. We theorized that the custom barrels used in this beer are being leeched of their volatiles, making them less palate crushing as John put it. John had Palo Santo at Magnolia's out in Percyville on draft right when the beer came out.
We gave cheers to our semi-regular audio engineer, Ray. We enjoyed his excellent work supporting this recording and the change in environment, being able to sit across from the same table. We mentioned that we hope Ray will be joining us again to help field recording at the marathon that is Balticon, or more accurately Balti-thon.
This provided a nice segue to our main topic, to chat about our past experiences at Balti-thon and what we anticipate for the upcoming one. John explained we intend to use all the social media to share our experience at the con.
One of the folks we hope to pull on mic is Randy Chertkow, of Beatnik Turtle, who I've had on my other podcast many times and to whom I've introduced John, when he headed out to Chicago. John shared some more of their beer questing experiences while John was on that trip where he first met Randy. Goose Island sounds like it was quite an experience, getting to see some of the inside fun the brewers clearly enjoy. John and I have both enjoyed really smart, wide ranging conversations with Randy and look forward to where we will end up, starting with beer as our spring board. We indulged in a thought very much inspired by our recollection of discussions past with Randy, about the relationship between truth, beauty and science.
We promoted one of Randy's books, The Indie Band Survival Guide, which is coming out in a second edition, soon. John made an excellent comparison, to the actual tome in the Douglas Adams classic, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The IBSG is immensely pactrical, meant to be used, read and re-read, dog eared, and carried in an instrument case from gig to gig.
We re-visited our first beer before moving on. The root beer and licorice notes definitely emerged more as the beer warmed. There was something in the mouth feel, too, that was similar to high quality licorice candies from Europe that are smoother and less sweet. John called it a powder coat of licorice herb, which reminded him of certain herbal liqueurs.
Before we cracked open the second beer, we chatted a bit about some attention from a friend of both of ours, Cory, brought to my other podcast. This spurred a conversation about the episode in question, the roles of various people in all kinds of change.
I manged to tie this discuss our next beer, as a sort of spur to power, especially given the mention of kinds on the label text of the Moylan's Hopsickle. It reminded us both of the thumbprint of Oskar Blues but different, not a sweet or oily. All the higher gravity pale ales from that brewery, Gubna and Deviant Dale's, have a certain something that is an amazing consequence of the insane hop regime. Even the imperial red, G'Knight has it. It also put us in mind of our past discussions of the 120 Minute with friend of the podcast, Evo, who we hope to have back on at Balti-thon.
We finished up by speculating on which beer John might choose for number 365, the 120 Minute being a natural idea. I also put forward the Worldwide Stout as I shared that with some friends recently. It is one of my favorite three beers from the brewer along with Burton Baton and Olde School. John got us on a reflection on time, place and rare treats, mentioning the Utopias and talking about asking after the Pappy van Winkle earlier in the day.
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